Source: Bbc.com (Is Mansa Musa the richest man who ever lived?)
Source Link: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47379458.amp
According to the Forbes billionaires list, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person on the planet. He is the wealthiest man in contemporary history, with an estimated fortune of $191.4 billion.
But he is far from the richest man in history.
That title is thought to have belonged to Mansa Musa, a 14th century West African prince who was so wealthy that his lavish giveaways destroyed an entire country's economy.
"Contemporary reports of Musa's wealth are so breathless that it's nearly impossible to get a sense of just how wealthy and powerful he truly was," said Rudolph Butch Ware, an associate professor of history at the University of California.
Mansa Musa was "richer than anyone could describe," Money.com's Jacob Davidson wrote of the African king in 2015.
The top ten richest men in history
1. Mansa Musa (1280-1337, Mali empire king) indescribable wealth
2. Augustus Caesar (63 BC-14 AD, Roman emperor) $4.6 trillion (£3.5 trillion)
3. Incalculable wealth of Zhao Xu (1048-1085, Emperor Shenzong of Song in China)
4. Incalculable wealth of Akbar I (1542-1605, emperor of India's Mughal dynasty)
5. Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) $372 billion
6. American business magnate John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) $341 billion
7. Tsar of Russia Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (1868-1918) $300 billion
8. Mir Osman Ali Khan (Indian royal, 1886-1967) $230 billion
9. William the Conqueror (1028-1087) $229.5bn
10. Muammar Gaddafi is ten (1942-2011, long-time ruler of Libya) $200bn
Mansa Musa, the golden king, was born in 1280 into a ruling family. Mansa Abu-Bakr, his brother, governed the empire until 1312, when he abdicated to go on an expedition.
According to Shibab al-Umari, a 14th century Syrian historian, Abu-Bakr was intrigued with the Atlantic Ocean and what was beyond it. He is said to have set off on an expedition with a fleet of 2,000 ships and thousands of men, women, and slaves. They sailed away, never to be seen again.
Mansa Musa, in any case, inherited the kingdom he left behind.
Mali's empire expanded greatly under his reign. He seized control of 24 cities, including Timbuktu.
The kingdom spanned over 2,000 miles, from the Atlantic Ocean to modern-day Niger, and included parts of what are now Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, and Ivory Coast.
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